Two Paddys on a podium
Twenty four Irish drivers were amongst the 71 competitors in the St Goueno Hillclimb Masters event in Brittany, France on 28/29th May.
Reigning Irish Champion Joe Courtney led the charge, finishing 2nd overall in a superb time of 1.26.652. Rory Stephens stretched the legs of his Radical SR8 to reach 3rd overall, achieving a new personal best of 1.27.854 and a class win along the way.
Brendan Keane was 10th Overall and 3rd in class. Denis Hogan made light work of his transition to his new supercharged engine, with a cracking first run in his BMW, finishing a most impressive 12th overall and second in class. He was followed by Peter McKinley in 13th, with just one timed run due to fuel issues (ie there was none). Peter Dwyer settled quickly into the spirit of St Goueno, snatching 16th overall on his first visit. Honorary Irishman Phil Price of Connaught Competition engines was 19th overall in his Porsche. Gary Cunningham was another first timer to this event and achieved an excellent result of 20th overall with a mere 600cc engine in his extra light Global Light and winning his class uncontested. Cormac O’Brien achieved 30th overall and 2nd in class. Robert Swaine repaired his Civic in double quick time to finish 31st overall and 3rd in class. Dermot Nolan brought his RT for just it’s 2nd outing, achieving 35th overall in style with its new blue and white livery. Emmet Dunne and his Dallara were first timers to this event also. He finished in 38th overall with just 1 timed run. Barry Smith was 41st overall in his Irish class 4 MkI Escort. Deirdre McKinley finished 3rd in class and 47th overall. Paul O’Connell’s much anticipated V10 M3 BMW made its debut. Still with some gremlins to be sorted, he finished 48th overall. It will be exciting to see this car in full flight soon. Mick O’Shea was delighted to reach his target time of a 1.55 sec, with 49th overall and 3rd in class. Donal Griffin drove the Hogan’s avenger to 52nd overall in his usual aggressive style. Derek McGuinness thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to St Goueno, finishing 54th overall. As usual, the Centos created much entertainment for the French crowd with their Armco bouncing and unbelievable angles of attack into Fers du Cheval. Neil Bradbury was 56th overall. The Cento Challenge battle was won again by Gary Egan in 58th, with Billy White in 62nd. Ben O’Brien’s competition car did not come together in time but missing this event was not an option, so Ben purchased a Mazda RX8 and entered the road car class, finishing 63rd overall. Ben has confirmed that this car will exit the O’Brien stable as quickly as it entered it.
Yet again, St Goueno surpassed expectations. The 2017 ferries are being booked as we write…